Delhi Police Sunday said it has allowed the farmers’ tractor march in the city on Republic Day, with adequate security arrangements in place. Three routes were finalised following a week of meetings between farmers and senior police officers.
In a press conference, Special CP (Intelligence) Dependra Pathak said, “We held discussions with Bharatiya Kisan Union leaders and there’s an agreement that they will carry out their march after Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath. There should be no disturbance during the parade. We will provide them with adequate security; their march will be peaceful and they will return to the border at the end.”
The Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM) Sunday said only tractors and trolleys with tableaux will be allowed in the march; no one should carry a weapon, “not even sticks”; and maximum of 5 people can ride on one tractor. “No one will ride on the bonnet, bumper or roof of tractors,” it said in a statement.
Police will remove barricades on January 26 for farmers to carry out the rally. Pathak said, “Farmers from Singhu will pass through Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar, Kanjhawala, Bawana, Auchandi border and KMP expressway before coming back to Singhu border. The distance will be around 62 km. From Tikri border, the tractors will pass through Nangloi, Najafgarh, Jharoda and KMP Expressway. Police will clear a route of around 64 km for the march. From Ghazipur border, a route of 46 km has been cleared as the rally will pass through 56-foot-road, Apsara border, Hapur road and reach KGP Expressway (Eastern Peripheral Expressway).”
Meanwhile, instructions for farmers, passed by SKM, also say they should pack 24-hours worth ration and water, and make arrangements for protection from cold in case they are stuck in traffic jams.
The group stressed on the need to ensure that the march is peaceful. “Through this parade we have to tell the country and the world about our plight… Our victory lies in the parade being taken out in a very peaceful manner… Our aim is not to conquer Delhi, but to win over the hearts of the people of this county,” instructions issued by the group said.
Tractors will not overtake the cars in which farmer leaders will travel, SKM said. There shall be no overtaking during the march and no music will be played in tractors, it added.
The group has also asked farmers not to indulge in quarrels with police, ignore rumours and verify information through its Facebook page — Kisan Ekta Morcha.
Police said more than 7,000 tractors from Tikri border, 5,000 from Singhu and 1,000 from Ghazipur will join the rally. “More tractors are coming in. We have faith that our farmer brothers will return to the borders peacefully,” said Special CP Pathak.
One of the farmer organisations, BKU Ugrahan, however, said it is not happy with the routes assigned. “The route plan from Tikri border does not suit every organisation… The suggested route says the tractor march should move from Tikri to Nangloi but we cannot reach Nangloi as pandals of other organisations come in our way… We will be meeting police authorities of Delhi, UP and Haryana on Monday at 8.30 am,” said Shingara Singh, vice-president of BKU Ugrahan.
Police claimed 308 Pakistan-based Twitter handles are trying to disrupt the tractor march. “We received inputs about these handles between January 13 and 18. They were made by Pakistan-based terror outfits to create disturbance during the rally,” said Special CP Pathak.
On Sunday, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava directed police personnel and outside forces like ITBP and CRPG who will be deployed for the Republic Day parade to also maintain security for the tractor march.
In an order, the CP said personnel will be required to be on duty “immediately after R-day celebrations are over” and “remain in a position to move at short notice for law and order arrangement in connection with kisan rally”. ( Indian Express )